By  on December 1, 2011

PARIS — The Estée Lauder brand is gearing up for the February launch of Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Creme, its first global antiaging skin care product that was created specifically for European women.

“From Day One of the development process, every aspect of this cream — the texture, the scent, the name, the advertising — has been based on research conducted with European women,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president of Estée Lauder.

The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned brand has been steadily developing in Europe, not least through the nomination of its creative makeup director, Tom Pecheux, and one of its spokesmodels, Constance Jablonski, both hailing from France.

“France has always been important to Mrs. Estée Lauder, to Leonard Lauder, to the Lauder family, to me and to our brand as we grow our global business,” said Hudis. She explained Europe in general has also been key (Lauder himself developed and launched Pure Color in 1998 specifically for Europe, for instance, and the Estée Lauder brand’s revenues there are approximately the same as in Asia and North America). Hudis added Europe is today a major focus of growth and opportunity.

“Our founder, Estée Lauder, always took pride in knowing what her consumers wanted all over the world,” she continued.

The Estée Lauder brand studied in depth the needs, preferences and desires of European women when it comes to face care.

Serum is less popular than cream. Whereas in Asia, 52 percent of women regularly apply a serum, in Europe it’s only 21 percent, according to Raffaella Cornaggia, regional marketing director, Estée Lauder for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“In Europe, half of the sales of skin care products are represented by the antiage category,” she said. “In that category, the segment that is the largest and among the most dynamic is global antiage treatment. By definition, the term ‘global antiage’ implies a complete product, so a cream that treats all at once the multiple signs of skin aging.”

In Italy and France, this segment is growing and generates more than 25 percent of prestige antiage skin care sales.

The Estée Lauder study found the European woman to be active and pragmatic, among other attributes.

“She considers aging as a natural process and doesn’t identify a specific problem linked to her skin,” said Cornaggia. “She is not obsessed by beauty or by wrinkles. However, when she begins to notice certain changes in her skin, she wishes to delay them. She favors simplicity in her skin care, as well. In short, she seeks a complete solution.”

“We have been looking for genes that control defense against environmental assault and protect against aging. And in particular, we have been studying genes related to antistress, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and detoxification,” said Daniel Yarosh, senior vice president, research and development, basic science research at the Estée Lauder Cos. “When we follow these biochemical pathways, we come back to one particular gene called Nrf2, which seems to control many different pathways — in fact, up to 200 other genes are all regulated by this ‘master switch.’

“In genetic studies, wherever we find an active Nrf2 gene, we find longevity and protection against aging,” he continued, explaining also that as people get older, their levels of Nrf2 naturally decline.

So the trick was to figure out how to activate this “master switch.” Lauder found black bamboo extract has the ability and is the core of Revitalizing Supreme formula’s IntuiGen Technology. Further, there’s SIRT-1 Technology, to give cells extra time to carry out restorative functions, and micro drops of water for hydration, according to the company.

The product is billed to instantly make skin smoother, clearer and more uniform and, after a month of use, is said to improve firmness.

When Revitalizing Supreme hits European shelves in February, suggested retail prices will be 86 euros, or $115.70 at current exchange, for the 50-ml. jar and 56 euros, or $75.35, for the 30-ml. version.

Estée Lauder, which is sold in 150 countries, generates 75 percent of its sales outside of North America. It leads in the antiaging and facial skin care segments in Europe — where its product mix has more serums than creams — and the brand’s revenues have been increasing by double digits. Estée Lauder’s plans involve accelerating that pace of growth even more.

Company executives would not discuss sales forecasts, but industry sources estimate Revitalizing Supreme will generate first-year retail sales in Europe of $70 million.

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